God Loves to Surprise us!
3 Min. Script
As we think about prayer and hearing from God there are some things that we should do. Firstly, remember. Remember what God has said to us and done for us. We see this ‘remembering’ frequently in scripture. The Israelis continually remembered the good things that God had done for them, as they celebrated God’s actions. If you have Jewish friends you will know that the many things that God did for them are still remembered and celebrated today. It’s good to remember.
Secondly, be thankful. God is with us, speaks to us and loves us and maybe we should say thank you. If you have done something for someone, and they don’t say thank you, it feels as if they are ungrateful. I notice that people are ready and willing to ask God for lots of things, and I sometimes hear them complaining about what God is doing, or not doing, but thankfulness is in short supply. It’s good to remember what God has done for us and it’s equally important that we say thank you. We have a friend, the king of kings, the God who is there, the God who is willing to be in a friendship relationship with you and me. That is a very good reason to say thank you.
Thirdly, we need to rehearse what God has done. I like stories don’t you? My grandchildren pull my leg and tell me that they know all my stories and all my jokes. The younger ones are not so sophisticated; they like to hear the stories again and again. These stories rehearse and remind us of what God has done and that does us good.
Can I tell you a story about a prayer that was answered? Thank you! My children are now married with children of their own, but when they were about 7 and 9 they brought home a form for me to fill in, asking for permission for them to go on a school trip which would cost £5 each. It was not a lot of money, but at the time we didn’t have much money. We signed the form and they duly took it back to school. A week later, they came home from school and said they needed to take the payment to school the next day. I looked at my wife and she looked back at me with a shrug. We didn’t have the money. In the morning as the girls were getting ready for school they kept reminding me that they needed to take the money in for the trip. I have to confess it was hard for me to tell them, ‘Sorry kids, I don’t have the money, but I have an idea, why don’t I come up to the school and ask if we can pay in instalments.’
That was just not good enough, they were very unhappy with my suggestion. The eldest looked at me with a stern face, ‘Dad we need to pay today!’ It was 8:40 in the morning, with the kids due to leave for school in five minutes, I only had one answer, PRAY!
I said to them, ‘I’m sorry kids, I don’t have the money, so we need to pray and ask God to sort this out because your Dad doesn’t know what to do and you won’t let him come and use his negotiating skills.’ There faces were defiant; they definitely did not want me speaking to their teacher about lack of money.
We stood in the kitchen, they in their uniforms, my wife looking on in desperation, recognising that this was something so very important to the children, and me trying hard to put a brave face on it as I prayed, ‘Dear God, my girls want to go on this trip, I’ve signed the form and now we can’t pay, we are embarrassed and it’s only £5 each, sorry God, we don’t have the money please can you help us?’ We all said a loud amen and stood looking at each other wondering what now? ‘Let’s get you to school,’ I said, ‘and I’ll come back later and…’ I didn’t know what to say next.
It was a very windy autumn day, I opened the front door to leave the house and a gust of wind blew into our hallway bringing with it a swirling heap of leaves, it was blowing them through the door like a mini whirlwind. I shut the door again thinking I would wait a moment for the gust to die down. My wife got busy with the dustpan to sweep up the load of leaves and I stood by the door, surrounded by leaves, then I looked down and there in the middle of the mess, was a £10 note.
You can talk all you like about coincidences, and question why, just as we finished praying, that the wind had blown it into our hallway. I don’t know the answers, but let me tell you my kids were very impressed with Gods quick answer, and I still remember that it happened, I am still thankful, and I still rehearse the story with those of my grandchildren who are willing to listen to me.
UCB 3 min script
Editor: A. Brookes